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40 Books to Read Before You’re 40

The books below cover nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to help navigate life in career, in family, or in loss. There are also a few classics that you should have read by now regardless! How many of the below books have you read?

  1. 1

    Unaccustomed Earth

    by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Unaccustomed Earth Book Cover Picture
    Unaccustomed Earth Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  2. 2

    The Remains of the Day

    by Kazuo Ishiguro

    The Remains of the Day Book Cover Picture
    The Remains of the Day Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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  3. 3

    Middlemarch

    by George Eliot

    Middlemarch Book Cover Picture
    Middlemarch Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  4. 4

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  5. 5

    A Little Life

    by Hanya Yanagihara

    A Little Life Book Cover Picture
    A Little Life Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  6. 6

    The Age of Innocence

    by Edith Wharton

    The Age of Innocence Book Cover Picture
    The Age of Innocence Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $11.00

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  7. 7

    American Pastoral

    by Philip Roth

    American Pastoral Book Cover Picture
    American Pastoral Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  8. 8

    The Interestings

    by Meg Wolitzer

    The Interestings Book Cover Picture
    The Interestings Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  9. 9

    War and Peace

    by Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace Book Cover Picture
    War and Peace Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $21.00

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  10. 10

    Dear Life

    by Alice Munro

    Dear Life Book Cover Picture
    Dear Life Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  11. 11

    Big Magic

    by Elizabeth Gilbert

    Big Magic Book Cover Picture
    Big Magic Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  12. 12

    A House For Mr. Biswas

    by V. S. Naipaul

    A House for Mr. Biswas Book Cover Picture
    A House for Mr. Biswas Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  13. 13

    The Razor’s Edge

    by W. Somerset Maugham

    The Razor's Edge Book Cover Picture
    The Razor's Edge Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  14. 14

    The Portable Dorothy Parker

    by Dorothy Parker

    The Portable Dorothy Parker Book Cover Picture
    The Portable Dorothy Parker Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $24.00

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  15. 15

    Ulysses

    by James Joyce

    Ulysses Book Cover Picture
    Ulysses Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $32.00

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  16. 16

    Hardcover
    $29.95

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  17. 17

    Man’s Search for Meaning

    by Viktor E. Frankl

    Man's Search for Meaning Book Cover Picture
    Man's Search for Meaning Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $26.95

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  18. 18

    The Sea

    by John Banville

    The Sea Book Cover Picture
    The Sea Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.95

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  19. 19

    Leaves of Grass

    by Walt Whitman

    Leaves of Grass Book Cover Picture
    Leaves of Grass Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  20. 20

    Lolita

    by Vladimir Nabokov

    Lolita Book Cover Picture
    Lolita Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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  21. 21

    A Town Like Alice

    by Nevil Shute

    A Town Like Alice Book Cover Picture
    A Town Like Alice Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  22. 22

    Celebrations

    by Maya Angelou

    Celebrations Book Cover Picture
    Celebrations Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $18.00

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  23. 23

    People of the Book

    by Geraldine Brooks

    People of the Book Book Cover Picture
    People of the Book Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  24. 24

    Cloud Atlas

    by David Mitchell

    Cloud Atlas Book Cover Picture
    Cloud Atlas Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $23.00

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  25. 25

    Wuthering Heights

    by Emily Bronte

    Wuthering Heights Book Cover Picture
    Wuthering Heights Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $8.00

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  26. 26

    In Cold Blood

    by Truman Capote

    In Cold Blood Book Cover Picture
    In Cold Blood Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $24.00

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  27. 27

    Midnight’s Children

    by Salman Rushdie

    Midnight's Children Book Cover Picture
    Midnight's Children Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  28. 28

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  29. 29

    Stag’s Leap

    by Sharon Olds

    Stag's Leap Book Cover Picture
    Stag's Leap Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

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  30. 30

    Great Expectations

    by Charles Dickens

    Great Expectations Book Cover Picture
    Great Expectations Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $7.95

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  31. 31

    An American Tragedy

    by Theodore Dreiser

    An American Tragedy Book Cover Picture
    An American Tragedy Book Cover Picture

    Mass Market Paperback
    $9.95

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  32. 32

    When Breath Becomes Air

    by Paul Kalanithi

    When Breath Becomes Air Book Cover Picture
    When Breath Becomes Air Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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  33. 33

    The African Trilogy

    by Chinua Achebe

    The African Trilogy Book Cover Picture
    The African Trilogy Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $25.00

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  34. 34

    Alexander Hamilton

    by Ron Chernow

    Alexander Hamilton Book Cover Picture
    Alexander Hamilton Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $22.00

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  35. 35

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  36. 36

    The Idiot

    by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    The Idiot Book Cover Picture
    The Idiot Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  37. 37

    Homegoing

    by Yaa Gyasi

    Homegoing Book Cover Picture
    Homegoing Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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